Thursday, August 30, 2012

What DanielleTBD Is Watching on ABC for Fall 2012...

Growing up, this time of year was always a bittersweet, confusing time for me. On the one hand, I absolutely hated going back to school. On the other, I loved being able to go back-to-school shopping first. And as I got older, I also began to look forward to the new television shows that would be waiting for me when I finally got home from school. These days, I live in Los Angeles and work from home so I don't even bother to go "back to work" shopping for new seasonal clothing. The only thing I quote-unquote shop for are these new television shows. So starting today I will be taking a look, major network by major network, at the offerings I will add to my schedule for Fall 2012.

First up is ABC (I am doing the networks alphabetically and the shows based on day and time just to avoid accusations of any additional biases).

Once Upon A Time (Sundays, 8 p.m.) - The first season ended with magic being restored to Storybrooke, but the breaking of the curse was not quite what Henry expected. Instead of all of the fairytale characters going back to their original world, they remained in this modern day one, just with all of their memories returned. Season two proves to be a different kind of power struggle, then, as they all know just what Regina is capable of, and many of them try (hopefully not still in vain) to find lost loved ones. The addition of new characters like Mulan and the Giant will expand the world, while there is still the question of Emma. She now has the opportunity to get to know her birth parents-- people who didn't give her up because they didn't love her, but thanks to the curse, are still of her same age. It's bound to be a bit of an adjustment! I'm still holding out to meet Henry's father and see if my Gold's son theory pans out, but I'm most intrigued to see what happens when people can use magic for good or for evil, and the lowly lay person Sheriff may not be powerful enough to stop anything. (starting September 30th) 

Revenge (Sundays, 9 p.m.) - After Victoria Grayson's plane went down in the first season finale, it seemed like Emily Thorne had succeeded in her revenge plot better than perhaps she could even have imagined it. Yet, she wasn't packing up and leaving the Hamptons; she still felt she had work to do. How much her real emotions are causing her to stay for emotional reasons that may get her in trouble should be discovered pretty early on in season two. But what's even more intriguing about the season is what life for Emily will look like when she thinks the problem of Victoria is behind her. Because you know Victoria will swoop back onto her radar at the worst possible time, then! Additionally, I have long since believed her father might not really be dead in order to give Emily new accountability and conflict just when she is succeeding the most, but seeing her mother in season two may be able to provide that for me in a place I way I didn't even know I wanted. Plus, Nolan's looking good with his new haircut! (starting September 30th) 

666 Park Avenue (Sundays, 10 p.m.) - Though this is a little like American Horror Story lite because it's on a major network, I'm fascinated by the seeming Supernatural-esque concept that the residents of this posh Manhattan building are making soul deals. Many of the residents are at a crossroads in their lives, namely the two newbs who move in in the pilot, and the building provides in ways they could have only dreamed, but it certainly comes with a price. Terry O'Quinn is the best bad guy on television, but there's a little part of me that plans to watch and look for clues that it is actually his wife who may be pulling more strings than we realize. There needs to be some kind of twist on the formula pretty early on to keep me invested. After all, American Horror Story will return only a few weeks after this one premieres, and considering they did the whole "house wants the baby" thing last year, I much prefer to watch a show that is pushing boundaries, rather than playing catch-up. (starting September 30th) 

Castle (Mondays, 10 p.m.) - I have always been a completionist, and though I really disliked the majority of the last season, I am planning to tune back in, at least in the beginning, to see where things go now that Castle and Beckett are together. Will there be nothing holding it together if the sexy tension is gone? We'll see. And hopefully we'll see an actual story (more than one episode thrown to them here or there) for Ryan and Esposito, too. (starting September 24th) 

Happy Endings (Tuesdays, 9 p.m.) - This is the gang of people I want in my own peer circle. They make me laugh, but they have their shit together, too, so they inspire me to do better for myself. Since Dave and Alex decided to give it another go at the end of last season, this year proves to be about relationships within the friendship circle in a way that should affect everyone but probably won't since so many of them are so self-absorbed. Additionally, they were all used to Dave and Alex together from years back, so this should be them settling into an old pattern or comfort zone that we as the audience has yet to see which may show off new sides to people, too. And then of course there is the Penny of it all-- she dates a lot, but this season we have been promised we will see more of these men on screen! Eye candy casting, anyone? (starting October 24th)

Don't Trust The B---- In Apartment 23 (Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m.) - I wasn't as in love with the first season as many of my fellow writers, but what sold me on the show was James Van Der Beek poking fun at himself and all things Hollywood, past and present. I could be content to watch a half-hour of just him doing that, and I hope that this season they give him some more room to shine on webisodes or something. I'm intrigued by the idea that Chloe is gradually coming into her own, and I hope we start to see her make some actual, outside the apartment friends in order to get a balance of personality. But let's face it, the thing I'm mostly tuning in for is Mark-Paul Gosselaar's own guest spot as himself, with the Dawson's Creek reunion following a close second. (starting October 24th) 

Modern Family (Wednesdays, 9 p.m.) - I'm going to be really honest: I hate the idea of Gloria spending the season pregnant, even if I'm excited to see her get to do something different for a change. Last year really proved just how much the kids could handle, comedy and storyline wise, and this season I'm hoping their roles get expanded even more. As some of the adults (Claire's flaily arms, I'm looking at you!) get more and more cartoonish, the kids are proving subtler and slier with their own comedic timing and styles. (starting September 26th) 

Suburgatory (Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m.) - There is so much plot happening this season that I feel like this show needs to come with therapy. Or maybe it will prove to be its own kind of therapy. In any case, last year, this was the breakout comedy for me because it just took me completely by surprise and surpassed any expectations I had for it or its creator Emily Kapnek. In a TV world that is continuously honoring shows about nothing or traditional sitcoms filled with tropes with little to no character development, this packs an even bigger punch. I can't wait to see what Tessa's life looks like when she starts spending time with her absentee mom; I can't wait to see what happens to the picture perfect Shays when the adoption admission comes out; I can't wait to see if George and Dallas finally hook up and what animal Dalia makes her mother get her to cushion that blow... There are so many things I love about this show, I think I'm going to move to Chatswin! (starting October 17th) 

Nashville (Wednesdays, 10 p.m.) - This was, hands down, my favorite new pilot of the year, and that includes those programs held for mid-season. Now the last two years, the shows I said this about didn't fair so well. One teetered in its content while the other just flatlined in the ratings and was canned quickly. But I have high hopes for this one because of the smart team of writers and the cast assembled. There may be many people who tune into this simply for Connie Britton (that's why I watched American Horror Story at first), but I know why I'll stay past that: I'll stay because this is finally a smart, adult relationship drama. It's one part behind-the-scenes entertainment industry tale, focusing heavily on what the industry does to women as they reach a certain age, and one part romance saga-- the what could have been, maybe even what should have been, as we look back over our lives. There are elements of politics and addiction to round it out, two of my favorite topics to be explored on TV. And of course there is the music, much of which acts as a metaphor. There is just so much to love here! (starting October 10th) 

Last Resort (Thursdays, 8 p.m.) - I'll be really honest, this is one show I'm interested to get to know (because right now I don't really feel like I know the characters, though I do know a lot about their world), but I fear getting too attached if it's only going to catch on with critics and the network will can it. Let's face it, Paul Lee shoots wildly with some of his pick-ups, but he's the kind of TV President who doesn't hold onto something just because he loves it. When things don't work, he scraps them and moves on, perhaps a bit more coldly than even I could. This show is a high concept drama that asks its audience to really question right wrong, governmental authority, willingness to be a soldier versus stand up for one's self and ask questions, and choosing professional over personal lives. There is a lot going on, even just within the pilot, and the fragmented worlds and stories are a lot to take in. I deeply love and respect Shawn Ryan for not underestimating the audience, but coupled with this notoriously tough time slot, I fear it may be doomed. It's the kind of show you need to really sit down and pay attention to, and what that will most likely result in is people leaving it on their DVRs until the weekend-- or perhaps until one specific weekend, planning to marathon a couple of episodes in a row. (starting September 27th) 

Scandal (Thursdays, 10 p.m.) - Though the first season was short, it was so very sweet! Between the rapid-fire dialogue and the cliffhangers at the end of every episode, the first season left me wanting so much more-- namely answers on just who Quinn is and how much Olivia knows about her true self. This second season promises to provide those answers, probably setting up all kinds of new complications for the firm. And the reveal of just how bad Cyrus really is will mostly likely come back to bite them, too. I can't tell you how happy I am this show is not just your average "case of the week" procedural! (starting September 27th) 

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